Welcome to the second update in 2022 on Iowa’s education-related legislation priorities and movement.
Similar to prior years, the governor would like to see more “student choice” in terms of attending either public or private schools and redirecting public funds to support private schools. There are several bills still in the funnel specific to establishing a voucher system and a “Student First Enrollment Supplement Fund”: HSB672/SSB3080 These bills have not yet been passed and are with the Appropriations committee.
HF2316 The budget increase for public school funding will be 2.5% with an increase of $5 per pupil. The increases were passed and signed into law on February 17, 2022.
Bills Currently Moving Forward
Teach Iowa Scholarship Eligibility Requirements
HF2083 formally HSB519 This bill expands eligibility for students to qualify for the Teach Iowa Scholarship program. Students must be in the top 50% of their teaching preparation class versus 25% and the bill omits requirements for discipline-specific preparation opening up eligibility to all preservice teachers. A recent change allocates 50% of the funding to districts with less than 1200 students, and 50% to districts with more than 1200 students. The bill has been passed by the House.
English Learners Terminology
SF2128 This bill changes terminology from “limited English proficiency” to “English learners” and also extends services for English learners from five year to seven. This bill has been passed by the Senate.
Elimination of Teacher Prep Assessments
HSB 520 As amended, this bill would eliminate the need for state-required subject assessments before the completion of teacher preparation to be nationally recognized. A subject-specific performance assessment is still required with a focus on student learning at the end of teacher preparation programs. If passed, teacher preparation programs could administer a valid and reliable subject-specific performance assessment that are not nationally recognized. A prior requirement of teacher preparation programs to report pass rates related to these assessments is also removed.
Computer Science Funding and Disbursement
SF2081 This bill allows for unused funds in CS professional development to roll over into the next fiscal year.
Supplemental Funding Bill
HF2315 This bill has passed the House, but has not yet been discussed by the senate. The bill provides $19.2 million in additional funding for bus drivers, paraeducators, and other needs for schools.
Renewal of licenses
HF2398 Strikes requirements for teachers with a master’s degree or PhD to renew their licenses.
Bills no Longer in the Funnel
Many curricular bills that required civics, HF2098, HF2089, HF2060, climate change instruction, SF2154, health, human growth, and consent, SF2071 and HF2183, and notifying parents about sexual orientation instruction, HF2054, are no longer in the funnel or moving forward. However, there is one bill related to requiring government and history classes still in the funnel HF2418. Another bill requires that students pass a government class and US citizenship test in order for a student to graduate from high school HSB706.
Other bills related to targeting librarians with charges and fees if they provide certain reading material did not make the funnel. However, a bill making administrators and teachers accountable for ensuring that no obscene material is distributed is still under review, SF2198. If obscene materials are distributed, the crime would be a serious misdemeanor.
AEA Consolidation bill
A bill recommending that AEA’s be consolidated to four entities, HF8182, is no longer in the funnel.